[acimlessons_list] Lesson 227 - August 15
sue at circleofa.org
Sun Aug 15 19:15:19 EDT 2010
Lesson 227 - August 15
"This is my holy instant of release."
See complete Part II practice instructions.
A short summary:
* Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
* Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
* Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind
* Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in
* Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea often within each hour.
* Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
* Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice suggestion: To expand on the prayer, you may want to use the
You see yourself walking through mist toward a giant pair of feet, the feet
Visualize these feet however you like. Maybe they are made of stone. Maybe
they are luminous and semitransparent.
You are carrying a bundle in your hands which you are planning to lay at
these feet as an act of tribute to the truth.
It would be traditional to assume that this bundle is your sins, and that
you will be laying them before the truth in an act of giving them up for the
<sake> of truth.
Yet the bundle is not your sins; it is your <belief> in your sinfulness,
your belief that you are defined by your separate will that does not will
Visualize the bundle however you want, but let its appearance and weight
reflect the fact that this is your belief that you are sinful, your belief
that you possess a wayward, destructive will that has corrupted your
You reach the feet of truth. See yourself kneel before the feet and humbly
lay before them this bundle. Let it be a genuine act of tribute to the
Laying this belief before the feet of truth is your act of giving it up, in
tribute to the truth and in acknowledgment of the falsity of this belief.
As you look at the bundle there on the ground, it is shined away in light,
and is gone.
Your belief in your sinfulness has been removed forever from your mind.
Feel yourself freed of the heavy burden of feeling like a selfish sinner.
Feel the release as you are lifted into a holy instant.
Feel your right mind restored to you, as if, after a long bout of insanity,
you are finally sane again.
You look down at yourself and see that you are clad in robes of holiness;
your purity has remained untouched.
You arise, free now to come home, to walk through the door of your Father's
Today's lesson is another reminder that these practice times are meant to be
holy instants for us. Not every one will be a dramatic experience of
wordless bliss, of course. Remember that simply being willing to turn your
mind to God can be considered a holy instant, whether or not you consciously
experience anything special. The seminal holy instant, from which the Course
sprang, was simply a time when Bill Thetford said, "There must be another
way," and Helen replied that she would help him find it. The mental shift
into alignment with God's purpose is what really counts. If we faithfully
practice, the direct experience of truth spoken of in the Workbook will
come, not by our efforts, but by God's grace, when we are ready to receive
Consider the effect it has on our mind to focus on today's idea, "This is my
holy instant of release," and then to sit in quiet stillness, open and
receptive to whatever is given to us. We should enter each such time
expectantly, waiting to hear what God's Voice will speak.
I am already free; now, today. My thought of separation had no effect on my
reality, so the imprisonment I have imagined never happened. "Nothing that I
thought apart from You exists" (1:3). How wonderful to know that the
thoughts I believed were apart from God don't exist! How healing it is to
give them up, lay them down at the feet of truth, and to have them "removed
forever from my mind" (1:5). This is the healing process of the Course: to
take each thought that seems to express a will separate from God's, and
bring it into this Presence to be removed from my mind, with God's own
assurance that it has affected nothing. I am still His Son.
This is how my mind is restored to me. This is how my awareness of my
Identity is returned to my awareness.
WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
Part 7: W-pII.1.4:1-3
"Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing" (4:1).
If we can understand these first few sentences we will have a clear grasp of
what forgiveness really is. The words "on the other hand" refer to the
preceding two paragraphs which described an unforgiving thought, especially
in 3:1, "An unforgiving thought does many things." Forgiveness, on the other
hand, does nothing. Unforgiveness is highly active, anxiously trying to make
things fit into its picture of reality; forgiveness does nothing. It does
not rush to interpret or to attempt to understand. It lets things be as they
Notice once again the heavy emphasis on stillness and quiet. The practice of
the holy instant, as the practice of forgiveness, is practice at being
still, being quiet, doing nothing. Our usual state of mind is the product of
the ego's training--habitually active, constantly working. We need
<practice> at being still and doing nothing. It takes a lot of practice to
break the habit of frantic activity and form a new habit of being still and
One trick of the ego I notice, frequently, is that it will try to make me
guilty about being still and quiet! When I try to take ten minutes to sit in
stillness, my ego floods my mind with thoughts of what I ought to be doing
The mental state in which forgiveness occurs is one in which we simply allow
all of reality to be as it is, without judging anything. "It offends no
aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes" (4:2). The
appearance my ego usually likes is some form of "I am right and they are
wrong." Or "I am good and they are bad." Or simply "I am better than he/she
is." Even more simply, "I am not like him/her." All of these thoughts share
one theme: I am different from others, and therefore separate from them. Any
such thought is twisting reality, because the reality is that we are the
same, we are equal, we are one. Forgiveness stills such thoughts and
abandons all efforts to mash reality into a "more desirable" shape.
"It merely looks, and waits, and judges not" (4:3). It does not deny what it
sees, but it puts no interpretation on it. It waits to be told the meaning
by the Holy Spirit. "My mate is having an affair." Forgiveness looks, and
waits, and judges not. "My child is sick." Forgiveness looks, and waits, and
judges not. "My boss just fired me." Forgiveness looks, and waits, and
judges not. We are so quick to think we know what things mean! And we are
wrong. We do not know. We leap to an understanding based on separation, and
such understandings understand nothing.
The most salutary thing we can do when any such upsetting event occurs in
our lives is--nothing. Simply to let our minds become still and quiet, and
to open ourselves to the healing light of the Holy Spirit. To seek a holy
instant. Let this become the ingrained habit of our lives, and we will see
the world in an entirely different way, and Love will flow through us to
bring healing instead of hurt to every situation.
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